February 25, 2002

C.U. Joins In 'Late Nights'

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One Night Stand, an event sponsored by the four class councils and Renaissance as part of the Late Nights @ Cornell initiative, attracted around three hundred students looking for an alcohol-free way to spend their evening last Friday night.

Encompassing the entire fourth floor of Willard Straight Hall, One Night Stand featured the music of Steve Bard, a musician from New Jersey and the Sim Redmond Band, a local group. There were also refreshments and casino gambling, which culminated in a raffle.

“We were trying to do an event that would attract the most people from the student body,” said Steve Blake ’05, chair of One Night Stand and member of the Late Nights @ Cornell Selection Committee.

According to Blake, the planning for One Night Stand began last November as a project for all the four class councils.

“We were hoping to do an event on a larger scale that would help unify the student council [s]. We hope that this will serve as a model for the future,” Blake said.

The free event was one of the thirteen events this semester that make up the Late Nights @ Cornell series, an initiative to offer an alternative to late-night social drinking on the Cornell campus.

Funded this semester with a one-time allocation of $25,000 from the Office of Student and Academic Services, Late Nights @ Cornell provides funds to student organizations to sponsor affordable alcohol-free events that run from around 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

There is a maximum admission fee of $3 at each event.

Each sponsoring organization was given approximately $2500 per event from the Late Nights @ Cornell Selection Committee, which is comprised of both students and administration officials. The committee received around sixteen proposals last semester from organizations ranging from sororities to the Cornell Astronomical Society.

Next semester, programming and funding duties will be transferred to CU Tonight, a commission that will be completely managed and funded by students. The organization has received by-line funding from the Student Assembly (S.A.) and was allocated $6.50 per student from next year’s Student Activity Fee (SAF).

The commission has set several goals for improving upon the Late Nights @ Cornell program.

“It’s going to be very dynamic,” said Robyn Tortorelli ’04, the secretary of Renaissance and chair of CU Tonight. “We are looking for some creative ideas from student organizations.”

One objective of CU Tonight is to be more selective in choosing events while still having enough proposals for an event every Friday night. The commission hopes to receive a diverse range of proposals so it can choose which ones will be most attractive to students.

According to Tortorelli, a wider and more diverse range of student organizations must become involved.

“We are just looking for creative events that will draw more and more people … not so much events from the past, but ones that are more innovative.” Tortorelli said.

With the commission’s funding secured for two years, Tortorelli added that another goal is to keep the events free or at a minimal cost.

“I think that next year will be about building a reputation,” Tortorelli said. “We want to work with class councils in the future. We are also open to fraternities and sororities sponsoring events.”

There will be a workshop for organizations interested in sponsoring an event, and the CU Tonight commission is looking for members for next semester.

One concern of both organizations, Late Nights @ Cornell and the CU Tonight commission, is more centralized locations for events because there has been a concentration of activities on North Campus.

“We have tried to bring people towards central campus. Campus Life does have some large venues but unfortunately they’re all on North Campus,” Blake said. A forum has been planned to address the issue.

Late Nights @ Cornell has provided five other events already this semester, including a movie in the Uris Hall Auditorium and An Elegant Affair, a dance in the Statler Ballroom hosted by Campus Life.

There are also several other events planned for the upcoming months.

There will be a Roaring Twenties Late Night Event in March that will be similar to One Night Stand, with a band and gambling and will be hosted by the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Another event for March will be Eclectic Caf